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Saturday 23rd of September 2023 Available without prescription™ © 2015
Dead-in-the-heads say These lowlifes Impeached me TWICE (I WON!), and Indicted me FOUR TIMES — For NOTHING! Either IMPEACH the BUM, or fade into OBLIVION. THEY DID IT TO US! Donald Trump, @realDonaldTrump, Aug 27, 2023, 5:40 PM, directing Republicans to impeach Biden [NOTE: "me" is "US" in his mind] © 2023
Democracy The greatest threat to our democracy  comes not from demagogues like Mr. Trump or even from extremist followers like those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 but rather from the ordinary politicians, many of them inside the Capitol that day who protect and enable him. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, New York Times, September 8, 2023 © 2023
Extremism One reason Republicans keep radicalizing is that, unlike Democrats, they don't need to win over the majority of voters. Michelle Goldberg, New York Times, September 11, 2023 © 2023
God God has a way of making sure everyone knows who God is. Marjorie Taylor Greene, exulting over flooding and mud at Burning Man © 2023
God More people believe in belief in God than believe in God. Daniel C. Dennett, New York Times, August 25, 2023 © 2023
Hypocrites say It [an impeachment inquiry into Biden] would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person. Kevin Mccarthy to Breitbart News, 11 days before caving in to pressure from the dregs of the Republican Party — Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Elise Stefanik, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, James Comer, Paul Gosar — and unilaterally launching an official impeachment inquiry into Biden on September 12, 2023, without having the House vote on it becaue he knew it wouldn't pass, given opposition from Democrats and moderate Republicans  © 2023
Incels In the US in 2019, 28 per cent of young men hadn’t had sex with a woman in a year,  up from about 10 per cent a decade earlier, reports the General Social Survey run from the University of Chicago. In a national survey of Japanese aged 18-34 in 2016, 42 per cent of men reported being virgins. Simon Kuper, Financial Times, September 7, 2023 © 2023
Kwiplers say Count votes in Congress by: 1. Calculating a Member's Proportional Vote (MPV) for each member, as follows: MPV = SPNP / NLRS where: SPNP = State's Percentage of the National Population NLRS = Number of Legislators Representing the State (in that legislature) 2. Totaling “yes” MPVs and “no” MPVs 3. Passing if total MPV is more than 50 OTHERWISE Abolish the Senate © 2019
Modernity To outgrow one’s parents is a kind of pre-bereavement before the actual one. It is also the universal tax on upward mobility, levied in all jurisdictions. But the alternative is what? Static communities? Knowing one’s place? It is an odd moral vision, but one with lots of takers on the de-growth left and the alt-right. Neither side can see that modernity creates different connections and duties, which are more touching, not less, for having no basis in blood or ethnic kinship. Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, September 8, 2023 © 2023
National security I will say there are specific rules about where to store classified information  and that those need to be stored in a SCIF – a  sensitive compartmented information facility – and in my experience, ballrooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms are not SCIFs. FBI Director Christopher Wray on classified documents at Mar-a-Lago © 2023
Post-2022 Senate shituation 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) 2020 population: 40,737,128 Senators: 30 Republicans 1 Senator per 1,357,904 people 1 state (California) 2022 population: 39,995,077 Senators: 2 Democrats 1 Senator per 19,997,539 people 19,997,539 / 1,357,904 = 14.7, therefore: average 15er's vote is worth nearly 15 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth less than 7% of an average 15er's 1 state (Wyoming) 2022 population = 579,495, therefore: 1 Senator per 289,748 Wyomians, a Wyomian's vote is worth 69 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth 1.4% of a Wyomian's  © 2023
Semi-loyal democrats It is semi-loyalists’ very respectability that makes them so dangerous. As members of the establishment, semi-loyalists can use their positions of authority to normalize antidemocratic extremists, protect them against efforts to hold them legally accountable and empower them by opening doors to the mainstream media, campaign donors and other resources. It is this subtle enabling of extremist forces that can fatally weaken democracies. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, who acknowledge Juan Linz originated the notion and term "semi-loyal democrats", in New York Times, September 8, 2023 © 2023
Semi-loyal democrats Many mainstream politicians who preside over a democracy’s collapse are not authoritarians committed to overthrowing the system; they are  careerists who are simply trying to get ahead. They are less opposed to democracy than indifferent to it. Careerism is a normal part of politics. But when democracy is at stake, choosing political ambition over its defense can be lethal. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, who acknowledge Juan Linz originated the notion and term "semi-loyal democrats", in New York Times, September 8, 2023 © 2023
Semi-loyal democrats Rather than sever ties to antidemocratic extremists, semi-loyalists tolerate and accommodate them. Rather than condemn and seek accountability for antidemocratic acts committed by ideological allies, semi-loyalists turn a blind eye, denying, downplaying and even justifying those acts  — often via what is today called whataboutism. Or they simply remain silent. And when they are faced with a choice between joining forces with partisan rivals to defend democracy or preserving their relationship with antidemocratic allies, semi-loyalists opt for their allies. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, who acknowledge Juan Linz originated the notion and term "semi-loyal democrats", in New York Times, September 8, 2023 © 2023
Snapshot With her toxic brew of ignorance and grievance, Sarah Palin was the gateway ignoramus who led to Donald Trump. Sarah Palin portrayed by Andy Borowitz in Profiles in Ignorance © 2023
Snapshot If California is America's America,  then Palo Alto is America's America's America. Palo Alto, California, portrayed by Malcolm Harris in Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World  © 2023
Snapshot The Defendant Donald Trump portrayed throughout United States of America v. Donald J. Trump © 2023
Snapshot If Donald Trump gets up and tells them that, “I didn’t know there’s a moon that circles the earth,” they’d believe it. Trump's supporters portrayed by Michael Steele, former RNC Chair © 2023
Spies As early as the 1920s, Lenin’s secret police, the Cheka, had more than 100,000 agents at home and a dedicated unit to co-ordinate operations abroad. In contrast, MI5’s counter-espionage unit had five officers. The US was little better. In 1929, secretary of state Henry Stimson  had closed the government’s code-breaking department because “gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” John Paul Rathbone, Financial Times, September 8, 2023 © 2023
Surely you jest I don’t do things wrong. I do things right. I’m a legitimate person.  Donald Trump, echoing mob bosses in films and real life --> © 2023
Teachers Earlier this year the N.E.A. reported that when adjusted for inflation,  “the average salary of teachers has actually declined by an estimated 6.4 percent, or $3,644, over the past decade.” New York Times, September 13, 2023 © 2023
Trumpists say First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Todd Akin, responding to a question about whether women who became pregnant as a result of being raped should be allowed to end the pregnancy via abortion © 2023
Trumpists say Standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus. Ron Johnson [LISTERINE® denied Johnson's claim] © 2023
Trumpists say When you look at a pardon, the issue is less about guilt and more about what's good for the country. And I think it would be terrible for the country to have a former president in prison for years because of a documents case. So I would be inclined to favor a pardon [of Trump if he's convicted of mishandling classified documents]. Nikki Haley, after saying the DOJ's indictment of Trump for mishandling classified documents, if true, shows he was “incredibly reckless with our national security” and put “all of our military men and women in danger” © 2023
Truth I think we know that the most reliable path to truth is through communication of like-minded and disparate thinkers who devote serious time to trying to get the truth  — and there's no algorithm for that. Daniel C. Dennett, New York Times, August 25, 2023 © 2023
Ukraine The reason Ukrainians have surprised and inspired so much of the world  — themselves not the least — since Russia’s invasion isn’t simply that they have fought.  It’s that they have things worth fighting for: civil rights and an elected government;  a news media that holds leaders to account; a culture of innovation and enterprise; a spirit of kinship, compassion and obligation for fellow citizens caught in the maw of war. Bret Stephens, New York Times, September 13, 2023 © 2023
Weddings Last year,  approximately 13,000 weddings in America cost $1 million or more, according to the consulting firm Think Splendid. Xochitl Gonzalez, The Atlantic, July/August 2023 © 2023